The Girl with the Fur Stole


I met a girl at a wedding

She had a fur stole.

Though I wasn’t bothered

She rushed to apologize

Explaining that it was her grandmother’s

And more a crime not to wear it.

Found out I was a girlfriend not a wife

And said bitterly, they’re in fashion now.

She explained that she, once a wife,

Had been relegated back to girlfriend status

Topping it off with the comprehensive phrase: it’s complicated.

Then she laughed, said she was fine

But it was clear she was not fine.

Declared us friends

And promised me more details after the ceremony.

I did not seek her out.

I had a sense that once she started talking

She would not be able to stop.


I danced one song with her.

She was manic

Dancing her fierce fake happiness

Bare to all.

Three times she told me

How she tore the edge of her dress

With her stiletto

Unaware of her own repetition

Unaware that she had actually injured my toe

In her clumsy drunken ambling.


In the process of self-destructing

Unable to take ownership of the better things

She threw her stole aside.

The things she still wore

Couldn’t withstand the strain

And shredded apart

Just from being near her.


Whose friend is that, people asked me judgmentally.

I defended her the best I could

But neither did I want to to get caught up

In the wake of her desperation.














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